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A Conversation with Education Expert Deborah Leong: "Executive Function" and Play in Young Children

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Aired on Tuesday, November 25th.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Deborah Leong, professor emerita of psychology at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she taught for more than three decades. Dr. Leong is also a research fellow at the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and she co-developed the innovative "Tools of the Mind" educational approach, which is, per its website, "a research-based early childhood program that builds strong foundations for school success by promoting intentional and self-regulated learning in preschool- and kindergarten-aged children." Earlier this month, Dr. Leong delivered a free-to-the-public Seed Sower Lecture at the OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute. She joins us to discuss the core concept of her recent address in Tulsa, which was "executive function" in young children. As Dr. Leong says on our program, when we're talking about very young kids and "executive" choices and decision-making, it basically all comes down to play.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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